NHL Free Agency: Thoughts On Day 12 Of Free Agency

Doug Pensinger

It's the dog days of summer. Here's some thoughts to get you through this lazy Sunday.

- I think we've officially reached the dog days of summer. You know the days. The days where there's no news trickling out, nothing to share and almost nothing to talk about. Almost.

- There might be a couple of options for the Rangers still sitting on the market. A guy like David Booth has seen his name thrown around quite a bit. Mike Ribeiro and Dustin Penner are still on the market, but sources have told Blueshirt Banter the Rangers don't have a high level of interest in either.

- I've seen the players left on the market referred to as "lottery tickets." I kind of like that. Benoit Pouliot was a lottery ticket last year. So was Mats Zuccarello, Dan Girardi and Cam Talbot when Glen Sather took fliers on them. There are options out there yet, but not many. The Rangers will have to see someone they really like at this point. The money will have to work, too.

- One thing is for sure -- and we'll get into this more this week -- the Rangers are going to have some kids make the team this year. Or at the very least have some kids get a long, hard look.

- J.T. Miller is the youngling with the most potential, having his name penciled in as the team's third line center at this point and time. Oscar Lindberg might make the team as a Brian Boyle replacement. Danny Kristo might find himself on the opening night roster as well, depending on whether or not the Rangers are finished with free agency. Jesper Fast might also make a splash.

- Don't count out Anthony Duclair getting a long look, either, even if it means keeping him up for the allotted nine NHL games before the team needs to decide to keep him or burn a year off his ELC. I'm not sold on Duclair making the team out of camp this year, but he has the best chance of all the players not named above.

- Another player to keep an eye on is 28-year-old AHL veteran Chris Mueller. He won the Calder Cup last year with the Dallas Stars' farm system in the AHL, and finished the season with 57 points in 60 games. He's only had 46 games of NHL experience (notching just eight points) but he might be an option to start the year if things don't go as planned.

- Some of you have been talking about potential trade targets, and I just don't see anyone who fits. Ryan O'Reilly might not even hit the market. Same goes for Evander Kane. If either do, however, do the Rangers even have the assets to get them? My guess would be no, but I've seen crazier things happen.

Arbitration is coming soon for Chris Kreider, Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. Just something to keep an eye on as we creep closer and closer to their dates.

That's about all the news from over here. Hoping things pick up a little to help us through July. Yep ... these are truly the dog days of summer.

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